Greece also, we can sing in the rain.
That time flies! In recent weeks, we met lots of people, the evenings were always well occupied. suddenly, it ran out of time to tell you about our adventures. Infastructure!
We were therefore stopped in the middle of the Greece...
Tuesday, November 11, day of 45 kms from easy road. Late in the day, there is a campsite sea that seems to open: in fact there is no client but the owner reopens sanitary just for us! A good hot shower, a bit of laundry. Too nice. Evening, installed on the tables of the restaurant closed, it reiterates the test of calzones (yum, yum!) taking advantage of outlets and wifi.
The next morning, after a few kilometres, can be seen in the distance in front of us a cyclo: too cool, it's been really long it has not crossed cyclo! We began to think of being this season (dingos?) only on the roads! Pressed hard on the pedals to catch him. It meets Matt, an Englishman doing a world tour party for 6 months. He traveled alone and advance quickly: minimum 100kms per day. It stays together till noon. A very nice meeting!
The afternoon, we visit Xanthi: there is a small portion of old town quite pretty. It is marked by the presence of numerous veiled women: in a country 98% Orthodox, is no longer used. In a little learning We learn that the city's history has been turbulent, having been successively Turkish and Bulgarian before being Greek.
At the exit of the city, we stop in a bike shop for a small repair on the bike by Thomas. The seller speaks English so it tells a little our adventure. Over tea, he says it also its concern for the youth of his country. I find a counter everything beautiful (because the former had dropped to me): it makes us a nice discount, very nice.
Later on the road, on the outskirts of a village, we see a sign "hot water springs": inspired by the idea, trying to find where it is. We ended up entering a field with buildings that seem rather abandoned... except a small house in a corner. A paunchy Mr ptit we welcomed with open arms and presents us instead: a hot water source emerges from the Earth at 50 °, naturally rich in sulphur, iron and other minerals! And in the small house, the water is recovered to make a bath at 39 °. Asked to put the tent in the corner: he tells us to settle before the House, the grid of the "Park" will be closed for the night from 8 pm at 8: 00. Asked the tent and it goes into Jersey for a good hot bath: after a day of cycling, it's so nice! At the exit of the bath, it is all relaxed... "Discussed" a little coffee (thanks to Google translate!) with this improvised host, and it leaves at 8 pm. It takes advantage of the awning of the House throughout the evening, surrounded by 3 adorable kittens.
The next day at 8: 00, this is a couple that comes open. They are a little surprised to see us there but still immediately offer us a coffee! The woman speaks a few words of french, because she lived in France until its 6 years. But we also use our awesome backpacker guide G' palémo. Once more, find it us a valuable relief!
During the morning of Thursday, crossing a nature reserve with a lake. The landscapes are stunning despite the grey weather. In the middle of the Lake is an Orthodox monastery. A former Muslim converted, become Orthodox monk, has built one of the Church with his own hands. There is a church for Saint Nicolas, patron saint of the sea, and the other Mary. A young monk who speaks English well just discuss and explain everything. It also tells us that the eve came two other french riders. We arrive to find their blog and get in touch with them... you'll see below!
Around the monastery, we see very many birds: a flight of hundreds of cormorants, very impressive. and a large family of pelicans (great to see nature as it), flamingos roses, etc.
Malheureusement c’est aussi là qu’il se met à pleuvoir et ça va durer jusqu’au soir… Le midi, on se réfugie près d’une église pour se protéger des trombes d’eau qui tombent. La route de l’après midi n’est pas très sympa, on est repeint de boue, surtout si on a l’imprudence de se rapprocher un peu trop du vélo de l’autre. La nuit approche quand on arrive au village de Sapes. Pas d’hôtel pour se mettre au chaud… Un gars du village nous dit de demander à l’église : le thème de la journée est “églises orthodoxes” on dirai ! 🙂
A small lady who sees us before the Church speaks a little German: an explanation of our concern and it will see the priest for us! It comes to us and tells us that he has no concern to get where you want in the gardens of the Church, he opens the toilet and shows us a place away. OWL, a canopy to dry for the evening!
It makes a few minutes that we are placed here when a villager appeals to us: it makes clear to come home. Thomas hand see the place with him, and then comes back to pick me up. It is a small house at the bottom of his garden, with a good stove that heats already when you arrive. Find this good heat after having been wet all day... it is not! This gentleman has 2 daughters who have their twenties and who speak a few words of English. One of them shows us the village in the evening; He seems very happy to accommodate us, he insists to deliver a big package of oregano, sardines, tomatoes etc! We are all embarrassed to so generous!
These are daughters who insist to keep the next day. You have the time, then ok! The morning, we go to the bar and discuss all morning over coffee (it's prominent in Greece: people can stay hours at the bar or at the restaurant, to discuss and remake the world).
Then we walk through the market that takes place every Friday, and are going to lunch in a tavern. Girls require an assortment of specialties; they eat a lot, and Thomas refuses to let anything go in the kitchen. Dad arrives after command of desserts, one regales oneself. In the end, he was also who will pay for the addition! All this generosity again! And we, there was not much to offer in Exchange...
In the evening, direction course dance Pontiac de Maria, a friend of the girls. We just watched, not danced, don't worry! It is a Greek traditional dance: dance group, circle, a few repeated movements, all giving a dance to halfway between the madisson and Breton dances. You'll see it for real in the video that Thomas is preparing.
The next day, we must leave, direction Alexandroupolis. Super small road that winds on the hills. The time is always overcast but rain has disappeared. Fortunately, because we have our first flat tire... After more than 3000kms! Thanks Schwalbe tires!
Alexandrouplolis, it is a couchsurfer that awaits us. We spend a very good evening, to talk about all subjects very freely; and Thomas is super happy to find someone with whom ideas of music. We watch into the night, then waking up is a bit hard: the next day, suddenly, we do leave at noon!
50 kms to do today, you must press the pedals to be before the nightfall at Ipsala, just after the grecquo - Turkish border. The road makes us cross full of hills; but finally it arrives at the border around 15:30. We show our passports at least 4 - 5 times, but for the first time, customs officials are rather nice.
We contact by e-mails and text messages with the french riders which you talked about above: we arrive to join us just after the border! And they are with a family of french cycling also. Cool! It is super nifty to be able to speak french with other riders!
It therefore share in the discovery of this new country with a much broader group: Alix and Benoît)In tandem for the father), and "dudus", René, Ema family and their children Mary (5 yrs) and Eliot (3 years))A small bike in the head).
Here, Greece, it is finished! But in any case, despite the cold and bad weather, it has appreciated this country!
What has scored in Greece:
-The generosity people: we are offered food, coffees and teas all the time.
-Almost all people with whom we talked a little spoke of economic difficulties of the country. Many young people have gone to find work in Germany. Why the Germany requested? Because there are seniors who went there before and they can go find: seniors can help those who arrive.
-Yet they want damn to theGermany ! Many times people have designate that country as head of their worries!
-In Greece, the boys still have the military service to do. It lasts 9 months. As we met many young people at the end of studies, the subject has returned frequently. In general, they will rather backwards...
- And this is not the first time that noted, the neighbouring countries often have a distrust the each other. Stlhe, a bartender has spent 20 min to put us in custody over the Turks. Explained us all the evil they could make to the Greeks in history and that "today it beware really". Ignorance of its neighbours is often at the origin of irrational fears.
In short, conclusion: travel friends!